Hearing Aids – is bigger always better?
There are so many styles of hearing aids to choose from today that we often are left with more questions than answers for this hearing solution. One common question is whether the size of the hearing aid matters. There must be some reason behind all those variations in size.
To provide you with an answer here is all you need to know about hearing aid sizes.
Different Types of Hearing Aids
In general, the larger the hearing aid, the larger the battery, and the more powerful it is. Larger hearing aids tend to support more progressed hearing conditions. In contrast, smaller hearing aids are more suitable for people with mild to moderate hearing changes.
At this point, when we refer to hearing aids as small or large, we are discussing their size in relation to each other. New technologies have made hearing aids relatively compact.
Here is a list of common styles from largest to smallest.
- Behind the ear (BTE)
- Mini Behind the ear (Mini BTE)
- In the ear (ITE)
- In the canal (ITC)
- Completely in the canal (CIC)
Pros and Cons of Larger Hearing Aids
BTE and ITE hearing aids are easier to handle and care for compared to smaller models. They are also compatible with directional microphone technologies and last a long time. The lifespan of BTE hearing aids is 5+ years.
- They pick up more wind noise.
- They may be challenging to put on.
- Can get in the way of glasses or hats.
- You may need to purchase a separate earmold.
Pros and Cons of Smaller Hearing Aids
Smaller hearing aids are harder to see, lightweight, and typically fit well in your ear. The CIC types are virtually invisible and pick up less wind noise compared to larger styles. They are also easy to use with phones.
- They don't last as long as larger models.
- Harder to handle.
- The smaller the size, the less likely it can support directional microphones.
- In-the-ear devices can easily plug up with ear wax.
Size does matter, but bigger is not always better. If you need a more powerful hearing aid, then a bigger size may be what you need. But if you have mild to moderate changes in hearing, you may benefit more from smaller models.
Our Hearing Aid Audiologist Louise can discuss your options with you and help you select the best one for your needs. Contact Hearing + Wellness Hale and schedule your hearing test today!